The May Garden
As we’re now in May, spring is well underway. Days are really warming up now, fruit trees are flowering but be aware that nights can still be cold and we can still get sudden sharp frosts at any time this month.
By the end of the month, your garden should be looking its best for the time of year, with bright spring bedding in full flower and trees in full leaf. With the flower show season starting, this will give you even more ideas and inspiration for the coming months in your garden.
May is truly one of the best months of all. You should be making the most of the warmer weather to start getting ready for summer. Many gardeners, including myself, regard May as one of the best months in the garden, with spring freshness and the promise of summer.
There are signs that summer is right around the corner, and many spring flowering bulbs, especially tulips are still at their best. May is also the month of the most famous flower show of them all, the Chelsea Flower Show. The warmer weather in this month allows gardening to be particularly engrossing, you can enjoy getting your garden ready for the summer and planning for the next few months ahead.
There are many things you can do in May:
- Move tender plants outside now for the summer and Protect them from late frosts.
- Trim box and other formal hedging lightly.
- Mow lawns at least once a week from now on.
- Sow and Plant out tender vegetables and continue the successional sowing of vegetables.
- Dig out spring bedding ready for planting summer bedding plants.
- Ventilate your greenhouses and/or conservatories in warmer weather.
- Remove all frost protection from plants toward the end of the month.
- Thin out annuals and vegetables which have been sown earlier in the year.
- Protect young plants from slugs and snails, you can use things like copper rings for pots/trees and slug sprays.
- Continue taking cuttings from herbaceous perennials, such as Geraniums, Dianthus, Primula and Salvia.
- Prune spring flowering shrubs such as Forsythia x intermedia and Clematis montana after it has flowered.
- Plant out Dahlias toward the end of the month
May is really your last chance to finish planting evergreen shrubs.
Looking ahead, I would start planning to sow biennials ready for next year’s spring bedding. I would also start inspecting plants regularly for signs of pests and diseases so that it would nip potential problems in the bud.